Enough of the hand-wringing: the Festa di Santa Rosalia is here!
Affectionately known as the 18th Avenue Feast, the 10-day event kicks off today at 5:00 p.m. It begins with a procession at 18th Avenue and 72nd Street, following mass at Santa Rosalia Church (6301 14th Avenue).
The 10-day festival, now in its 37th year, packs 18th Avenue from 67th Street to 75th Street with food, music, vendors and amusement. On weekdays, it runs from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Weekends get an earlier start, running from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
The event honors the patron saint of Palermo, Sicily, where their own Festa has been celebrated continuously since 1624. Organizers of the Bensonhurst event say it’s the larges Italian-American festival in Brooklyn.
For the first time in its nearly four decade history, the 18th Avenue Feast organizers sought a change in date. Always kicking off on the third Thursday in August, organizers hoped to bump it up one week to help address neighbors’ concerns about trash. The mayor’s office, however, issued a last minute denial to their application, forcing organizers to keep to their traditional date.